The United Nations Development Programme UNDP has sought the partnership of the Nigerian Army to commence its stabilization and development programme for Nigeria’s North East Communities ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Resident Representative Designate for Nigeria office of UNDP, Mr. Mohammed Yahya disclosed this during a courtesy call to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai at the Army headquarters in Abuja.
Yahya stated that the partnership can only be achieved if the Nigerian Army provides support and creates the enabling environment for proper entrenchment of the programme.
“We are about to embark on the programme with regards to the stabilization of the North East. I feel I have to come see the Army Chief to inform him because the Army has done a lot in tackling the insurgency and unless the Army gives us the support to do our work, it will be very difficult”, he said.
He further emphasized that the support of the Nigerian Army was crucial for the stabilization programme to succeed while noting that the programme entailed re-establishment of livelihood in deserted communities, provision of critical infrastructure and ensuring enablement of the rule of law.
Emphasizing on the need for other critical stake holders in the stabilization efforts to key into the speed and pace of work to be embarked upon by UNDP, Yahya said, “The programme would also involved reconstruction of towns and communities. UNDP really needs the Nigerian Army’s support for its personnel to access difficult communities”.
In his response, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai assured the UNDP representative that the Nigerian Army will give the UN all the support it requires for the stabilization programme to succeed.
Buratai said the Nigerian Army was ready to support NGOs and the UNDP in the area of provision of peace and security to enable them carry out their programmes.
He also used the occasion to inform the UNDP representative that the Nigerian Army had already commenced its own stabilization and reconstruction programmes in certain areas and was working seamlessly with several NGOs in this regard adding that such experience will come to play in the assistance to the UNDP efforts.
Senior officers present at the visit were the Chief of Policy and Plans, Major General Ali Nani, Chief of Training and Operations, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, Chief of Logistics, Major General Enobong Udoh, Chief of Military Intelligence, Major General SA Adebayo, Chief of Administration, Major General Ishiaku, Chief of Civil-Military Affair, Major General Shehu Mohammed and the Director of Policy, Department of Policy/Plans, Brigadier General Sawyer.